There can be a variety of reasons you may need to use a dog diaper, from your dog undergoing surgery, to old age causing incontinence and so much more. Dog diapers come in handy when our dogs can’t go potty outside like they usually would.
Fortunately, there are lots of options for dog diapers on the market to meet your needs. We’ll go over some of these options, as well as how to best use the doggy diaper of your choice. Dog diapers can help you minimize mess, maximize peace of mind and keep your canine more comfortable, too.
Choosing the Right Dog Diaper
Dog diapers may all look similar, but there are some differences from one to the next. To be sure you’re getting the one that will work best for your pooch, you need to understand what’s available to make a sound decision.
Disposable vs. Reusable
The biggest item you will need to decide on is whether you will use disposable diapers or reusable ones. There are pros and cons to each, which you choose just has to do with personal preferences and your unique situation.
Disposable diapers are an easy and sanitary way to go. Disposable diapers are less costly in the short term; however, they will need to be replaced constantly. This is a recurring expense and creates a lot of waste. You will be throwing them away constantly, which can stink and is also not environmentally friendly. Disposable diapers are great for short-term use, such as for a dog recovering after a medical procedure.
Reusable diapers are more costly upfront but will save money in the long run. Reusable diapers are washable and great to use if urinary incontinence is your dog’s main issue. If you are dealing with fecal incontinence in your dog, washable diapers might not be the best choice. They will likely need to be hand-washed if any fecal matter gets on them.
Male vs Female Diapers
You might be surprised to find that there are differences between male and female diapers.
The big difference here is in the male diapers. For male dogs who are just dealing with urinary incontinence, there are belly band diapers that conveniently catch the urine without having to wrap around the dog’s entire backside. These are more comfortable for pups because they have less material.
Female dogs (and male dogs dealing with fecal incontinence) will need a full diaper. There are full diapers for both males and females. There are small differences, such as that the female diaper designs typically do not come up as far on the belly. Focus less on gender and more on choosing a dog diaper that will appropriately address your dog’s incontinence issues most comfortably.
Sizing is important in ensuring your dog’s diaper works correctly. A dog diaper that is too loose will be annoying or uncomfortable for the pup. Not only that, but a diaper that is too loose can easily fall off or allow for leaks. A dog diaper that is too tight could be very uncomfortable and may easily snap off if the dog moves too quickly.
Each brand will have different sizing. It’s very important to read size charts and know the approximate size of your dog. All the better if you can take your dog with you to a pet store to ensure the diapers you are getting match their body size.
How to Use Dog Diapers
Now that you can identify the differences in dog diapers and pick the right one for your pet, you may wonder: How do I get this thing on my dog?!
Dog diapers are designed for easy on and off, but they can be tricky. Following a few easy steps will ensure your diaper fits properly, is comfortable, and stays on for the appropriate amount of time.
Change Diapers Frequently
Just as with human babies, dogs don’t like sitting in soiled diapers. Dogs are naturally inclined to stay away from their defecation; having it pressed against their body is innately disturbing for them. Even more, leaving a soiled diaper on your dog for too long can cause diaper rash. No fun!
You should be changing your dog’s diaper at the first cue it has been used. This may be hard to tell. A simple sniff or quick peek will tell you everything you need to know.
Clean Your Dog Between Changes
After taking off a soiled diaper, be sure to clean your dog thoroughly. Not cleaning your dog in between changes can lead to nasty rashes and possibly skin infections. To keep your dog as comfortable and healthy as possible, make sure you are cleaning with every change.
You can use human baby wipes on dogs for the same purpose. Baby wipes will gently clean any debris and leave your dog feeling refreshed. Some companies also make dog-specific cleaning wipes.
Pause at Night
Although it may seem counterintuitive, you do not want to leave your dog in a diaper overnight. A dog will be uncomfortable and can develop rashes from sitting in a soiled diaper for 8+ hours.
Find a creative solution for your dog’s sleeping situation in case they have an accident overnight. A plastic crate is easy to clean if the dog goes potty in it. Or, try an elevated mesh bed with a plastic or other hard surface underneath – that way the urine can drain through the mesh holes and the dog is still comfortable.
Stay away from plush dog beds or letting your dog sleep on porous surfaces, like your bed, couch, or carpets.
Protect Your Health
We consider our canine companions a part of our families. After a while of changing their diapers, you won’t even be grossed out by it; it’s an act of love! However, dog feces and urine contain organisms different than our own. Some can be dangerous to us.
Dog urine is known to hold high levels of ammonia. It’s not recommended that you breathe it in or touch it. Dog feces can contain bacteria that can cause gastrointestinal symptoms in humans if it’s accidentally transferred from your hands to your mouth or eyes.
The bottom line is you should be washing your hands after every diaper change! If soap and water are not available, stock up on some bottles of hand sanitizer to keep close by.
Keep Diapers on with Suspenders
A common issue with dog diapers is that dogs can find their way out of them. Some dogs may not try to wiggle themselves out of a diaper, but others will get themselves out of the diaper faster than you got it on.
If your dog is constantly finding ways to get out of their diaper, consider suspenders. Many owners use suspenders to keep the diapers in place. Or buy a dog onesie to put over the diaper. This will make it very difficult for a dog to get out of its diaper.
Dog diapers are a very helpful tool when used correctly! However, you must take special care when using these diapers. You don’t want your pup to get a skin rash or worse! By following proper protocol and aftercare when using dog diapers, you can gain peace of mind and give your pup more freedom around the house.